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Green light for road pricing could put brakes on US fuel demand

Washington may finally tip petrol demand into decline if it starts to back state-led policies

US road fuel consumption has been on an oscillating plateau for many years, right around 9mn bl/d of gasoline. Recessions come, recessions go, fuel taxes are increased often (at state level at least), cars become incrementally more fuel efficient and the electric vehicle rollout has begun. And yet, US gasoline consumption never enters sustainable decline, always rebounding and confounding forecasters. On a global level, it has been clear for more than a decade that, while the US is no longer a source of oil demand growth, it is not a drag on demand either.  But with a new administration, the prospect that road fuel demand could finally start to decline may move from speculation to reality.

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